Club could have a new owner at the helm in weeks

Andrew Andronikou at Fratton Park

Andrew Andronikou at Fratton Park

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POMPEY could have a new buyer in place in the next three weeks, according to the administrator of the club’s parent company.

Andrew Andronikou, joint-administrator of Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI), told The News a potential buyer is set to lodge an application with the Football League to pass its fit and proper person test within the next week.

Mr Andonikou, who would not reveal who the interested party was, stressed nothing is finalised until the contract is signed.

He said: ‘We are in talks with potential buyers and I’m optimistic that we will find a solution – it takes a bit of time.

‘Consortiums and buyers don’t like to inherit a club halfway through the season but we want to find a buyer in the next three weeks.

‘We want to find someone for the medium-to-long-term, someone who will be there for more than five months.

‘I wish we had a longer period to find the right buyer but we are looking to get someone in in January – it’s a very important period for the club.

‘Anyone who comes here will be ambitious and we want to secure the club’s position in the Championship – I cannot see why anyone without ambitions would want to buy a club.’

Administrators were appointed at CSI after its owner, and former Pompey chairman Vladimir Antonov, was arrested on suspicion of a £250m fraud at the Lithuanian bank AB Bankas Snoras.

Mr Andronikou would not reveal any of the parties interested in buying the club.

‘All parties have insisted for their identities to remain confidential until the transaction has been completed,’ said Mr Andronikou.

‘It’s promising but it’s fraught with problems. We will do our best to find someone who can come in with the cash needed to bring the business forward.

‘We need the right person in place.’

Mr Andronikou added he was confident Pompey will avoid a points deduction from the Football League after the club’s parent company went into administration in November.

He also quashed internet rumours floating around fans’ message boards that players would not be paid for December, adding all staff received payment on Friday.

He said: ‘We are pretty confident that we won’t receive a points deduction.

‘We have given the Football League the information they required and I’m sure we will find out in the new year. We will just keep looking forward to Saturday’s game and every other game.’

The Football League would not comment on a potential buyer but said Pompey’s situation will be discussed at its next board meeting on January 12.

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